The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order on Friday challenging Duke Energy to back up its Integrated Resource Plan – its long-term business plan – with more facts. The order questioned whether Duke is overestimating the amount of electricity it must generate and whether it is adequately pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy that would negate the need for Duke to continue raising rates on families and small businesses in North Carolina.
Greenpeace, NC WARN and NC Interfaith Power and Light offered the following statement in response:
“Greenpeace, NC WARN and NC Interfaith Power and Light thank the North Carolina Utilities Commission for challenging Duke Energy to provide an explanation for why the company is not pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy that would result in lower rates for North Carolina’s families and small businesses.
“Ratepayers have showed up to hearings in Raleigh and Charlotte by the hundreds to ask these very questions, and today’s order shows that the Utilities Commissioners are listening.
“The Utilities Commission has also challenged Duke Energy for answers about its high electricity demand estimates, the public health impacts of its coal ash and air pollution, and the climate impacts of its continued reliance on fossil fuels.
“Many of Duke’s shareholders questioned CEO Jim Rogers at the company’s annual general meeting last week about why Duke hasn’t moved more aggressively to replace its coal and nuclear plants with wind and solar energy, instead of gas. Rogers acknowledged the need to invest more in renewable energy and efficiency, but did not offer a clear explanation for why Duke has been so slow to do so. Today’s order from the Utilities Commission offers Rogers yet another opportunity to explain Duke’s stubborn refusal to embrace cleaner, cheaper, modern forms of energy and efficiency.”
—Susannah Tuttle, NCIPL Director